Banksy art could help struggling boys’ club

A youth club that was facing closure is now celebrating a potential multimillion-pound windfall thanks to a painting by mysterious street artist Banksy.

Dennis Stinchcombe, who has worked at Bristol’s Broad Plain Boys’ Club for the past 39 years, said Banksy’s controversial Mobile Lovers painting could pump more than £2m into its coffers now that the secretive artist has confirmed it is real. Full story »

Pictured: Mobile Lovers, by Banksy. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Dog Training for Next NASA Mission

by Anna Washenko, FluffPo Correspondent

Move over Laika: one ambitious chihuahua is currently engaged in a rigorous training program in hopes of being considered for NASA’s next space mission. Pico, the dog in question, has been putting in hours a day on physical conditioning, including several stints in zero-gravity simulators. 

Trainer Allen Divers said Pico has the right stuff.

“He’s strong, he’s tough, and he’s smart,” Divers said. “By the time they’re ready to have astronauts join the Curiosity Rover on Mars, I think there’s a good chance that Pico’s going to be in that crew.” 

Via Charlie Stinchcomb.

In short, let’s say that the Potter family is old. Like, super old. Medieval to be exact! Their folklore begins way back in the 12th century with Linfred of Stinchcombe, who was, not surprisingly, an eccentric man who had quite a way with…you guessed it…potions. He kept his wizarding ways a secret from his muggle neighbors, all the while plying them with concoctions to cure their pox and whatnot. What a guy.

Ol’ Linfred then gave way to a succession of successful wizards and witches, most of which made boatloads of money to contribute to the family fortune and one of whom happened to marry a lady who owned a little something called the Invisibility Cloak. Two of the forthcoming Potters even served on the Wizengamot in London, and earned the clan a reputation for being muggle-friendly as a result of their penchant for doing things like not declaring war on innocent non-wizards.

Eventually the family came down to one Fleamont (pause for laughter) and Euphemia Potter, who birthed their son James. They lived long enough to see him get hitched to a lovely girl named Lily, but died tragically of, ironically, Dragon Pox, before they could meet their only grandson. (Harry, duh).

Our summary of Harry Potter’s long, crazy family history. [x]






Jan. 6 - QB Drew Brees named Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year. Jan. 7 - Defensive Coordinator Gary Gibbs is relieved of his duties after three seasons. Jan. 12 - Pete Carmichael Jr. is promoted to offensive coordinator. The club also announced that Aaron Kromer was promoted to offensive line coach/running game coordinator and Joe Lombardi to quarterbacks coach and hired Bret Ingalls as running backs coach. Jan. 15 - Saints announce the hiring of Gregg Williams as the team’s defensive coordinator. Feb. 17 - Saints release all-time leading rusher and touchdown scorer RB Deuce McAllister after eight seasons. March 27 - LB Jonathan Vilma re-signed with the team, inking a five-year contract to keep him in New Orleans. T Jon Stinchcomb re-signed with the club, also signing a five-year contract. March 5 - Saints signed unrestricted free agent CB Jabari Greer. March 12 - FB Heath Evans signed with the Saints as a free agent. March 24 - Saints sign unrestricted free agent FS Darren Sharper. March 30 - Saints announced the team’s training camp would be held at their home practice facility in Metairie, La. April 25- Saints use the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft to select Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins. April 30 -

Owner Tom Benson and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced a lease extension that will keep the Saints in New Orleans through 2025 and provide $85 million to upgrade the Louisiana Superdome. Benson also announced that he would purchase the Dominion Tower and develop a festival plaza outside the stadium. May 19 - The NFL announced that New Orleans has been named as the host for Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season. June 19 - Dennis Lauscha promoted to Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. Sept. 13 - Saints opened their season with a 45-27 victory over the Detroit Lions, their most points ever on kickoff weekend. Brees tied a club record with six touchdown passes and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Oct. 1 - Brees named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September after leading Saints to a 3-0 record and throwing for 1,276 yards and nine TDs. Oct. 25 - Saints improved to 6-0 with a 46-34 win at Miami, where they rebounded from a 24-3 deficit, tying their biggest comeback in franchise history. K John Carney became the fourth player in NFL history to reach 2,000 career points. Oct. 28 - Sharper was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month as he had three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. Nov. 8 - With their 30-20 win over Carolina, the 8-0 Saints now had the best start in franchise history. Nov. 22 - Following their 38-7 win over Tampa Bay to improve their record to 10-0, New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak was the longest in franchise history. Nov. 30 - In a 38-17 Monday night win over New England, where the Patriots averaged a club record 9.6 yards per play, Brees completed 18-of-23 passes for 371 yards with five touchdowns. His career-high passer rating of 158.3, was the only the second perfect rating in club history. Brees was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Dec. 19 - After falling 24-17 to Dallas, New Orleans, finally had a blemish on its record after a club-record 13 victories. Brees threw his 121st touchdown pass as a Saint, making him the franchise’s all-time record holder and also became only the second NFL quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. Dec. 27 - With a 21-yard interception return vs. Tampa Bay, Sharper set the NFL single season record for interception return yardage with 376. In the game, Brees completed a club-record 19 straight passes and also tied his  club single-season record for touchdowns passes with his 34th. Dec. 29 - Brees, G Jahri Evans, Sharper, T Jon Stinchcomb and LB Jonathan Vilma were named to the Pro Bowl, later to be joined by C Jonathan Goodwin and S Roman Harper for a franchise-record seven total Saints.

Jan. 12 - QB Drew Brees named The Sporting NewsOffensive Player of the Year. Jan. 16 - Saints defeated Arizona 45-14 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs at the Superdome. RB Reggie Bush scored touchdowns on a 46-yard run and an 83-yard punt return. Jan. 24 - Saints defeat Minnesota 31-28 in an overtime thriller in the NFC Championship Game at the Superdome, advancing the Saints to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Feb. 7 - Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Saints overcame an early 10-point deficit as Brees was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as he completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards with two touchdown passee and a 114.5 passer rating, tying the NFL record for completions in a Super Bowl. K Garrett Hartley became the first player in NFL history to boot three field goals of 40-or-more yards in a Super Bowl. 

Super Bowl XLIV was an American football game between theNational Football Conference (NFC) champion New Orleans Saints and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Indianapolis Coltsto decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2009 season. The Saints defeated the Colts by a score of 31–17, earning their first Super Bowl win. The game was played at Sun Life Stadium inMiami Gardens, Florida on February 7, 2010 for the fifth time (and in South Florida for the tenth time), the latest calendar date for a Super Bowl yet.

This was the Saints’ first Super Bowl appearance and the fourth for the Colts franchise. The Saints entered the game with a 13–3 record for the 2009 regular season, compared to the Colts' 14–2 record. In theplayoff games, both teams placed first in their respective conferences, marking the first time since Super Bowl XXVIII (16 years previously) that both number one seeds have reached the Super Bowl. The Colts entered the Super Bowl off victories over the Baltimore Ravens andNew York Jets, while the Saints advanced after defeating the previous year’s runners up the Arizona Cardinals in their first game and theMinnesota Vikings in the second.

Down 10–6 at halftime of Super Bowl XLIV, in what many consider the turning point of the game, New Orleans successfully recovered a surprise onside kick on the second half kickoff, and subsequently took the lead on Pierre Thomas’ 16-yard touchdown reception. The Colts responded with Joseph Addai’s 4-yard touchdown run, but the Saints then scored 18 unanswered points, including Tracy Porter’s 74-yard interception return for a touchdown, to clinch the victory. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns, was named the Super Bowl MVP. His 32 completions tied a Super Bowl record set by Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The live broadcast of the game on CBS was watched by an average US audience of 106.5 million viewers, making it the third most-watchedSuper Bowl.The National Anthem was sung by Carrie Underwood and the halftime show featured the British rock band The Who.